Thanks to the generous donations to our recent Ebola appeal we have been able to make a good start in helping the local community in Sierra Leone as they begin to recover from the effects of the Ebola outbreak. This was continued with the shipping of the latest container of humanitarian aid supplies to the region.
The container was packed with filled boxes containing clothes, shoes, educational supplies, school uniforms, school equipment, toys etc This will help families who have been unable to earn a living during the crisis or children unfortunately orphaned as a result.
The container has just arrived in Sierra Leone and should be unpacked in the next couple of weeks.
The school supplies are particularly timely as schools have just started to go back following several months closure during the Ebola Crisis. Many children are now back in school but some parents have struggled to pay the small school fees to be able to send their children back, having been unable to work during the crisis. School fees are typically only around £10 a term per child, but what may seem a relatively small sum to us, it’s the price of a cinema ticket or 3 cups of coffee!, will be hard for some families to find. Education is more important than ever for these children, and should anyone wish to donate towards this they can do so through the website or by contacting us directly. Many thanks to all those who have supported our appeal so far, your contributions, both financial and in goods, are very much appreciated by us and those who will be helped.
Nigel Bostock, a RAF Policeman NCO, currently working at Freetown International Airport in support of the Department for International Development-led effort to combat the spread of Ebola, has undertaken a solo half marathon, running 13 miles around the airfield to raise funds for the Foundations work in the local area. Local Westminster staff were on hand to provide support to Nigel. Donations are still coming in but to date several hundred pounds have been raised by Nigel, with donations coming from the local community at the Airport, colleagues, family and friends of Nigel’s including his local church. It’s not too late to support Nigel’s run and should anyone wish to donate they can do so through the Foundations Donation page. Well done and many thanks to Nigel.
At the recent BIRA Conference our Trustee Alan Wolstencroft, the owner of Fashion Fabrics in Banbury, was awarded the Charitable Champion Award, at the Gala Dinner, for his outstanding work in Sierra Leone.
Delegates were informed that during the past year, although Alan had not visited Sierra Leone because of the e-bola crisis, he had continued fundraising for the development at 3 schools that he supports including providing subsistence allowances for the teaching staff.
Alan had undertaken 36 speaking engagements raising £14,350 of a total of £33,600 raised during the year. Since his first involvement in Sierra Leone, 10 years ago, Alan has delivered 290 talks raising a total of £63,400 of a total of £124,100 for his Sierra Leone projects.
Alan was presented with a certificate, a plaque and a bottle of champagne and a cheque for £1,000 towards his ongoing projects.
Alan acknowledged the support that he receives from his family, his staff, customers and suppliers, BIRA members, Westminster Group PLC, Goodwill & Growth for Africa UK Banbury Rotary Club and dozens of organisations and hundreds of individuals.
Alan explained that he is returning to Sierra Leone at the start of June and some of the money may well be used to pay school fees (£10 per term) for children whose families cannot afford to pay the fees due to the increased cost of living caused by the e-bola situation.
Alan explained that every £ goes directly to the projects and that the money will help him to continue to “make a real difference” in Sierra Leone.
WASS team led by DASM john Drummond was warmly welcomed by the Paramount chief and his kinsmen and were ushered into the chiefdom local court venue which was utilised for the presentation ceremony. SDM Ibrahim Koroma made a brief statement on behalf of the Company explaining the imperative need for WASS to work side by side with the local authorities in the fight against EBOLA wherein he made mention of the holding centre constructed by WASS for the chiefdom as an excellent approach to mitigate the rampant spread of EBOLA. DASM John spoke on the importance of WASS contributing to the fight against EBOLA
The local chief in charge of the section where the Paramount chief hailed from in the person of Pa Alimamy Kapen expressed sincere thanks and appreciations to the entire WASS family for the unflinching support in the fight against EBOLA, and stated also that the chiefdom is appreciative of the fact that WASS has provided employment facilities for the youths.
The Paramount chief reiterated that WASS has contributed immensely to promote community development, Notwithstanding, the chiefdom is anticipating to initiate a chiefdom partnership society wherein they will be looking into sourcing/soliciting assistance for the award of scholarship for educational pursuit for sons and daughters of the soil in the future, they will attract the attention of company /agencies based in Lungi.
Finally, DASM John, presented the ten sacks of rice to the Paramount chief on behalf of WASS as a good will gesture in the fight against EBOLA, and subsequently photographs were taken
Shortly before Christmas we were able to deliver some Christmas Stockings to the children at Don Bosco Orphanage, along with a donation to the Orphanage to enable them to buy some gifts for the children. The Orphanage was set up following the impact of the Ebola crisis to accommodate children who had lost their parents to Ebola and is housed in a former school. Karen Young and John Drummond from Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd, visited the Orphanage and met the children and their carers to hand over the donations.
Westminster have assisted the paramount chief and other respective elders in the Kaffu Bullon Chiefdom in Sierra Leone create a temporary holding/treatment centre for suspected Ebola Cases in the district.
Westminster have provided the materials and manpower to erect a perimeter fence to create a safe and secure environment for the treatment centre which is considered vital for the well-being of the community.
We are grateful to the Chacombe CEVA Primary Academy who have kindly donated all their old tables and chairs to the Westminster Foundation following their recent refurbishment of the school.
Westminster will be shipping these out to Sierra Leone, free of charge, and together with GAGA will allocate these to selected schools providing much improved facilities for pupils. Donations such as this can make a huge difference to the lives of those in need and we thank the staff and governors of Chacombe CEVA Primary Academy for their generosity.
In the ongoing battle to contain and prevent the spread of Ebola it is important to raise awareness amongst communities.
In Sierra Leone, Bai Shebora Sheba Gbereh III, the Paramount Chief of Kaffu Bullon Chiefdom which includes the Lungi region, has been very active in raising awareness of his people and in that respect approached Westminster to ask if we could produce awareness T Shirts for the community bearing the slogan “Kick Ebola out of Kaffa Bullon, Sierra Leone”.
Westminster were happy to assist and promptly arranged for printed T Shirts to be made and delivered to the community.
Left to right in picture: Mohamed S Kamara – Deputy Terminal Manager FNA/Community coordinator for Ebola locally John Drummond – Deputy Aviation Security Manager WASS Bai Shebora Sheba Gbereh III – Paramount Chief of Kaffu Bullon Chiefdom Ibrahim Koroma – Security Duty Manager WASS/ Community liaison Officer Foday K Sannoh – Major RSLAF Lungi Battalion Garrison
The Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell, run by renowned share commentator and leading contributor to Share Prophets, Tom Winnifrith, is supporting the WGF Ebola Crisis Appeal by agreeing to donate 20p per pizza sold all week.